A Saudi woman has been arrested after a video of her wearing a skirt circulated online, according to Saudi state-run media.
The Washington Post reported that the video — posted online over the weekend — shows a woman dressed in a skirt and a crop top walking through Ushayqir, a village in the Najd province approximately 95 miles from the country’s capital, Riyadh.
Saudi women are required by law to cover themselves in loose-fitting garments in public. The are also expected to cover their heads. Other laws in the country bar women from driving and require them to have the permission of a male guardian for commonplace tasks such as travelling.
يجب ان لاتطلع في بلد محافظ بهذا الشكل ، عليها احترام القوانين ، ولاا سوف يكون مصيرها معروف#مطلوب_محاكمة_مودل_خلود
— فــّــواز الوايلي (@1__shadw) July 16, 2017
The video quickly gained attention online and sparked outrage in Saudi Arabia. The Post reported that many Saudis used a hashtag on Twitter calling for the woman in the video to face trial for her clothing.
On Tuesday, the Saudi state-run television station Al Ekhbariya tweeted that the woman in the video has been arrested by Riyadh police for wearing “suggestive clothing,” according to the Post’s translation.
— قناة الإخبارية (@alekhbariyatv) July 18, 2017
Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division, told the Post that “Saudi Arabia’s continuing obsession with policing women’s clothing choices shows authorities haven’t moved on from the paternalistic and discriminatory mindset that hampers women’s lives.”
“Saudi Arabia’s purported plans to reshape society and advance women’s rights will never succeed as long as authorities go after women for what they wear,” Whitson said.
The Post noted that the fate of the woman in the video “remains unclear” following her arrest.